The Book of Popes makes a list that makes Linus the second in line of the Bishop of Rome, or Pope. Peter was the first. It also says that Peter ordained two bishops, Linus and Cletus, for priestly service, while he spent time praying and preaching. It was Clement that he entrusted the Church as a whole, Saint Jerome listed Clement as “the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter, if indeed the second was Linus and the third Cletus. A tradition that began in the 3rd and 4th century, has identified him as the Clement that Paul mentioned in Philippians, a fellow laborer in Christ.
A large congregation existed in Rome in 58 when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans. Paul arrived in Rome c. 60 (Acts) Paul and Peter were martyred there. Nero persecuted Roman Christians after Rome burned in 64. The congregation suffered further persecution under Domitian (81–96).
Clement was the first of early Rome’s most notable bishops The Book of Popes indicated Clement had known Peter. Clement is known for his letter to the church in Corinth, saying there is an apostolic authority of bishops as rulers of the church. Clement writes to the troubled congregation in Corinth, where certain bishops have been replaced. Clement calls for repentance and reinstatement of those who have been replaced, in line with order and obedience to church authority, since the apostles established the ministry of “bishops and deacons.”He mentions “offering the gifts” as one of the functions of the clergy. The epistle offers valuable insight into Church ministry at that time and into the history of the Roman Church. It was considered important and was read in church at Corinth along with the Scriptures.
Do we then think it to be a great and marvelous thing, if the Creator of the universe shall bring about the resurrection of them that have served Him with holiness in the assurance of a good faith, seeing that He showeth to us even by a bird the magnificence of His promise? — Clement of Rome 1885b, 1 Clem 26:1
According to a 4th-century legend, Clement was banished from Rome to the Chersonesus during the reign of Emperor Trajan and was set to work in a stone quarry. Finding on his arrival that the prisoners were suffering from a lack of water, he knelt down in prayer. Looking up, he saw a lamb on a hill, went to where the lamb had stood, and struck the ground with his pickaxe, releasing a gushing stream of clear water. This miracle resulted in the conversion of large numbers of the local pagans and their fellow prisoners to Christianity. As punishment, Clement was martyred by being tied to an anchor and thrown from a boat into the Black Sea. The legend recounts that every year a miraculous ebbing of the sea revealed a divinely built shrine containing his bones. The oldest sources on Clement’s life, Eusebius and Jerome, say nothing of his martyrdom.